A very exciting interview with the wonderful artist Esther Ruiz! @esther___ruiz - thanks Esther for doing this interview with me last week!
Esther is a fabulous contemporary Los Angeles based artist. Her work is influenced by geology, sci-fi landscapes and bright colour. Indeed, she studies geology at Rhodes! Her work references fictional and imagined landscapes.
In our wonderful interview coming to She Curates website soon, we discuss Eva Hesse, Teresita Fernandez’s speech, growing up and studio spaces.
Quick one, what 3 words would you use to describe your artwork
Minimal, Neon, Landscape
Tell me about your artist story. How were you trained? Tell me about your journey to where you are now?
I have been interested in art basically my entire life. My father took me to the CAM & Museum of Fine Arts in Houston as a child. I started private lessons in the 4th grade and I was art club president in high school for three years. I then studied sculpture at Rhodes College. Two weeks after my last final, I moved to Brooklyn. A few months later I got a small studio and began making my current body of work.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? And which artwork would you like people to remember you for?
Positive responses from my peers are always the best. A few notable works I hope have a beyond me are "Blue Sun" "Second Sun" "Untitled (tv)" & "New Stone Age"
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a new wall piece using a faux granite backing. I've been experimenting with new materials since Covid-19.
What would be your dream project?
I would love to make a sculpture for Desert X.
What is your studio like? Where do you like to create best? What are your artist necessities? What could you not live without?
I recently moved into my current studio which is in my friend jonathan's back house. It opens up to their sprawling, fruit-tree-filled backyard, it's beautiful! I like working outside the best.
I definitely need sunlight and running water lol (for the concrete). I couldn't live without access to wifi and geodes!
What do you listen to while you work?
Podcasts and techno.
What does an average working day look like to you?
Well, since being furloughed from my office job at a sculpture fabrication studio, I now go to my studio daily. Usually after two cups of coffee I head over on my bike and work for at least a few hours.
Who or what are your biggest influences, and how do you find them? How do these come out in your work?
My biggest influences are geology, sci-fi landscapes and bright color. I studied geology at Rhodes and collect stones for my smaller sculptures.
A lot of my work references fictional, imagined landscapes from the wall portals to mini representations of horizon lines in the concrete core samples.
What do you want your work to say? What are the main themes and motifs running through your work? Is there a narrative that runs throughout?
I'd like the work to evoke hope and joy. Tiny moments of reflection and imagination. These themes have always run throughout the work I think.
Tell me about a specific piece of your artwork?
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I'm the only one in my immediate family born in the U.S.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Artist Teresita Fernández said in a speech, "when you feel discouraged or lost in the studio...rest completely assured that what you don't know about something is also a form of knowledge... In many ways making art is like blindly trying to see the shape of what you don't yet know."
Here is a link to her full speech, it's so great. https://soundcloud.com/user231682255/teresitaspeech
What advice would you give?
Having a studio practice has its ups and downs, it's full of lulls and bursts of energy. Stick it out during the lulls.
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time, what would the meal be and who would it be with?
Ooooh, I would love to walk from her studio to B & H Cafe in the east Village to have lunch with Eva Hesse.
What is your greatest indulgence in life other than creating?
I love a good cocktail.
Favourite historical female artist?
Favourite current practicing female artists (as many as you like?)?
Anne Vieux, Kristy Luck, Sarah Tortora, Alex Ebstein, Morgan Blair, Amanda Martinez.
Who should She Curates interview next (as many as you like!)?
All the ones I listed above! Anne Vieux and I have an upcoming two person virtual show on Artsy in September!
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
Ars longa, vita brevis.